Earlier this week, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) announced that he will not be complying with the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid. “I do not have any intentions of expanding Medicaid,” Deal told a reporter at the Republican National Convention. “I think that is something our state cannot afford.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported yesterday that an estimated 650,000 Georgians are expected to receive care thanks to the Medicaid expansion, which means that Deal’s obstruction would leave an enormous number of people without access to health care (one out of every five Georgians is currently uninsured). Additionally, the state’s hospitals are in uproar over Deal’s decision, with one official saying that he is “certainly putting hospitals at risk” by not allowing the flow of federal dollars that allows for them to care for patients.
As US News & World Reports notes, the “federal government would pick up the tab for most of the Medicaid expansion when it is implemented in 2014, but states would be required to pay for 10 percent of it by 2020.”
That’s a relatively small price to pay for securing the health and well-being of most of the people in your state. But Deal doesn’t want to pay, and Georgians may suffer as a result.